Amazon Smart Thermostat review: Smarter than Nest at a fraction of the price – CNN Underscored
The $60 Amazon Smart Thermostat pulls off a feat very few smart home devices can accomplish: It offers all the functionality of even the priciest connected thermostats at the lowest price. Even better, it does so with surprisingly few trade-offs. There is, however, one great big caveat, and its name is Alexa.
Like the market-leading Nest Learning Thermostat, which usually retails for $250, the Amazon Smart Thermostat can learn your habits and routines, then automate your home’s heating and cooling schedule to match. Used effectively, that can translate into energy savings and lower utility bills, all without sacrificing comfort. And yet, Amazon’s thermostat is priced well below even the lowest-cost competitor from a renowned discount brand, the roughly $80 Wyze Thermostat.
I disconnected the third-generation Google Nest I had been relying on to manage my townhouse’s heating and cooling controls for the past four years and replaced it with an Amazon Smart Thermostat, which I’ve been testing for over a month. I can tell you this much: The Nest won’t be going back up. Here’s why.
The Amazon Smart Thermostat uses Alexa to effortlessly adjust your home temperature to your needs — all for a much lower price than competitors.
The who, what and how
Who this is for: The Amazon Smart Thermostat is for anyone looking for a thermostat that can automatically adjust their home’s temperature and who either lives in an Alexa household or is willing to adapt to Amazon’s smart home ecosystem. Though it doesn’t have a speaker or microphone, it can use one or more Alexa speakers to add to its functionality. In fact, the more smart home devices you have in general, the better both Alexa and the Amazon Smart Thermostat will work.
What you need to know: Unlike most gadgets, the less you interact with a smart thermostat, the better. And the Amazon Smart Thermostat might well be the most autonomous thermostat available, requiring less interaction than even the market pacesetter, Nest. It also happens to be the least expensive and is compatible with most 24-volt systems (most modern residential HVAC installations) — though it does require a C-wire (an adapter is available if your home doesn’t have one).
How it compares: At less than a quarter of the cost of the flagship Nest, the Amazon Smart Thermostat falls short in just one category: build quality. Although its clean, minimalist design is perfectly tasteful and its materials seem plenty durable …….